Filed under: Junk Science, Regulation | Tags: Dietary Guidelines, Health Outcomes, Junk Science
For decades, the federal government has been telling us what to eat — not that we pay that much attention — but nevertheless they regularly establish dietary guidelines. A new article by University of Alabama Birmingham researcher Edward Archer and colleagues Gregory Pavela and Carl Lavie and published this week in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, informs us that the conclusions drawn by the federal government’s controversial Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) are bunk. They were more polite, they said their work rests on fatally flawed assumptions about usable data, and the research used to support their work is so far off base as to be scientifically useless.
The DGAC is a rotating group of academics who have been charged by Congress since the 1990s with meeting every five years to recommend broad federal dietary policies. Unlike experiments in the hard sciences of chemistry, physics and biology, most diet studies are based on self-reported data. Study subjects are examined for height, weight and health, then are questioned about what they eat. Their food choices are then linked to health outcomes — cancer, mortality, heart disease etc,
Edward Archer says that’s a poor way of doing science. “The assumption that human memory can provide accurate or precise reproductions of past ingestive behavior is indisputably false.” Well, yes, can you remember what you had to eat on Friday? “An analysis conducted by Archer in 2013 found that most of the 60,000 + NHANES subjects report eating a lower amount of calories than they would physiologically need to survive, let alone to put on all the weight that Americans have in the past few decades.”
They’ve just been plain wrong as well. We were told never to eat butter, but to use margarine instead. Now we are urged to eat butter and not use margarine. The grocery stores are well ahead of the feds. They hardly carry any margarine at all anymore. The dietary guidelines mistakenly urged us to rely on lots of whole grains and other carbohydrates, and the stores stocked up on lots of tasty snacks, If they are wondering where the obesity came from — there you go. And pay no attention to the healthy plate diagram shown above. That’s bunk too.
1 Comment so far
Leave a comment